When Too Much Tennis just Isn’t Enough
Ah, sport. The two sports I claim to prove that I’m not entirely a bookworm who never comes out of a book are tennis and cricket, on which – it being summer – I have been able to glut recently.
I am, though, not a true fan.
My brother will watch any cricket game he can possibly get close to; probably even U12s. My mother will stay up til the wee smalls to watch tennis. Me, I watch cricket when Australia is playing – impossibly jingoistic, I know, but there you have it (I do at least enjoy the five-day form, and am not simply a 50-over slut). The tennis I primarily watch is what we just had over the last fortnight.*
A few years ago, Mum suddenly realised that I lived in Melbourne, and there’s tennis in Melbourne! So we’ve started a tradition of her coming over for three days of tennis – we get tix to a stadium each day, and decide on the day who we’re going to watch and if we can bothered slumming it with the plebs on the outer courts (answer: yes, if there’s an Aussie who promises to put up a fight, and it doesn’t clash with someone awesome in our stadium). (And when I was in the UK last year, she still came over for the tennis, and had a jolly fine time without me.)
We went for three days in the first week, and saw some pretty good matches. The two that stand out were Dellaqua beating Schnyder – very exciting – and Luczak taking it to Nalbandian; didn’t leave the place until 8pm that evening, because it went to four fairly long sets. We saw a couple of other Aussies, as well as some games where one person was just getting smacked around the place. Didn’t see any doubles at all for the whole Open, which I was a bit sad about – I love watching them up at the net.
As for this past week – I was so glad Federer** beat Tipsarevic, because we saw him playing an Aussie (Siriani) on a show court and he was being really snooty. I was also the only person (out of four) barracking for Djokovic last night; I think he’s pretty cool (saw him beat a poor Italian man, in the second round). Sharapova looked gratifyingly excited and amazed when she won, of which I approve.
And now, I go back to watching basically tennis for the next 11.5 months – not having cable tv – and, today at least, I think of my brother and mother both at the fifth day of the test.
* That said, when I was at college I got up after only a few hours of sleep and watch the Poo and then Rafter in consecutive semis, which they both won – it was the US Open, I think? in 1998. And then went to inter-college rowing all day… ah, fun times.
** I remember the first time I saw Federer on the tv. I misread his name, and thought it said Fedora; ever since then he has been Johnny Fedora to me, thanks to a Golden Book (remember them?) I loved as a kid, about two hats: Johnny Fedora and Alice Blue Bonnet. That story had it all: romance, adventure, tragedy, a happy ending….